Boehringer earns NICE nod for IPF drug Ofev

pharmafile | September 14, 2015 | News story | Sales and Marketing Boehringer Ingelheim, IPF, NICE, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 

NICE has recommended Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis after the German firm agreed to a price reduction.

The preliminary draft guidance recommends Ofev (nintedanib) for some people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – but only if Boehringer agrees to supply the drug at a discounted cost through a patient access scheme.

People with IPF have damage and scarring to the tissue surrounding the small airways in the lungs. The British Lung Foundation estimates that 5,000 people are diagnosed with IPF every year in the UK. Common symptoms include breathlessness and cough. The condition will steadily worsen and can be fatal.

Ofev was approved by the European Commission in January, and is vying with Roche and InterMune’s Esbriet (pirfenidone) – the only other drug recommended by NICE for IPF. Both drugs are recommended for people with IPF who have a forced vital capacity (FVC) between 50% and 80% predicted. FVC is the amount of air which can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible.

The appraisal consultation document reveals that negoatiating the discount discounted patient access scheme with the Department of Health made Ofev cost saving compared to treatment with Ebsriet.

The undiscounted price of Ofev for the recommended 150 milligrams twice daily is £2151.10 for 60 capsules, or £71.70 a day. However the appraisal consultation document states that “when the expert review group applied the patient access schemes to the company base case, pirfenidone was extendedly dominated by nintedanib and best supportive care (meaning that a combination of best supportive care and nintedanib would give more benefit than pirfenidone and would be cost saving).”

It adds: “The incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) for nintedanib compared with best supportive care was substantially over £30,000 per QALY gained. In a pairwise comparison, the ICER for nintedanib compared with pirfenidone was between £20,000 and £30,000 per QALY gained.”

The draft guidance is now open for public consultation until Tuesday 29 September 2015. Final guidance is expected to be issued to the NHS in January. Once NICE issues final positive guidance, the NHS has a legal obligation to begin funding the treatment for eligible patients within three months.

Lilian Anekwe

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